We are delighted to welcome back all students on Monday 8 March. We have been so happy to see the vast majority of our students during their Lateral Flow Device testing slot this week and it’s been clear to see that they are as excited as we are to get back into the building and recommence face to face teaching. We’re also incredibly thankful for all the positive messages that we’ve received from parents regarding reopening and getting all students back to sixth form as quickly as possible.
To support students in coming back to school I would like share some information and guidance with you:
Uniform and equipment
We have high expectations for all our students to adhere to our uniform policy. We have not changed any aspect of our uniform policy and will continue to expect the same high standards. All students should attend in black shoes, black trousers/skirt, white shirt, West Coast Sixth Form tie and jumper. In addition to their uniform students should ensure that they have all the necessary equipment with them, so they are ready to learn and as such contribute to maximised learning time. We welcome students to bring laptops with them to ensure that they can work on any internally assessed work whilst in the building.
For further guidance on the dress code in relation to accessories, hair colour and so forth please consult the West Coast Sixth Form handbook.
Throughout Lockdown we have loaned out many devices to allow students to fully engage in their remote learning. If your child has received one of these devices we ask that they are returned to the Academy safely from Monday 8 March, in the original packaging. All laptops should be returned to the Year group teams.
The latest guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) recommend that staff and students should wear face coverings when social distancing cannot be maintained. This means that students will wear them at all times inside the Academy building, except when they are eating. Students will be permitted to remove their face coverings outside when social distancing can be maintained. The decision has been taken to extend the use of face coverings to keep everybody safe and to reduce the risk of potential transmission.
We would like to encourage students to wear type II fluid resistant masks, where possible, as these provide the best possible protection.
All students and staff will adhere to these measures unless they are exempt. Students with medical exemptions will be issued with an exemption pass. We ask that parents inform us if they believe their child should be exempt from wearing a face covering so we can discuss the matter further.
The DfE have stated that the guidance on face coverings is a temporary measure and will be reviewed at Easter. Hopefully, the need for face coverings will become redundant in the not-too-distant future. However, until then, we will continue to follow national guidance.
There is a clear link between good attendance and good outcomes. I think you will agree that after the events of the last 12 months 100% attendance at sixth form has never been more important. Remember that we are asked to comment upon attendance and punctuality in reference requests.
Specific year group entrances remain the same as they were last term and students will be allowed to enter the academy from 8.25am ready to start at 8.40am.
To ensure that students are able to maintain social distancing during extended periods of independent study we will publish a ‘free rooms’ list. This will be stored within the year group Teams channel and displayed in the study room and café 6.
We ask that students use the space wisely and do not overcrowd areas, especially during social times.
All school transport will run as normal from Monday 8 March. Please remind your child to have their bus pass available for inspection by the driver.
For students who transfer from the Whitehaven campus each morning, the provider has now changed. This service will now be provided by Stagecoach and will depart at 8.20am. Please be ready for a prompt departure. All other services will remain in place with Sims travel to transport our students between both campuses.
Updates and records
There have been many changes over the last 12 months, due to the pandemic. If there have been any significant changes to your family’s circumstances that we are unaware of, please get in touch as this will allow us to provide the best possible support to your children upon their return. We have carefully planned to support for the vast range of experiences our student body may have experienced during this term and this will only be strengthened by the information that you are able to provide us with over the coming weeks. If you have any information to share with us please do not hesitate to contact either via telephone or email.
If there have been any changes to contact phone numbers, email addresses and home addresses please let us know. Updates can be sent to our office team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of our students and families will feel concerned due to the changes to the exam process. Ofqual have released some details, as outlined in the previous communication, however we are still waiting for the granular detail from the exam boards. As soon as we have this detail we will contact you to ensure that you understand the process and what will be expected of students.
If you have any questions regarding the information provided in this letter please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Mrs A McAllister
Head of Sixth Form (Workington Campus)